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HOBOKEN, NJ-New Jersey’s Hudson County has been snatching financial-sector jobs from Manhattan for years. But when venerable publisher John Wiley & Sons announced last summer that it was moving its HQ to Hoboken, the face of economic development here changed. These weren’t back-office jobs, but the complete HQ operations of the noted scientific and educational publisher.

Yesterday afternoon, when developer SJP Properties of Parsippany, NJ, broke ground for the first of two 13-story, 550,000-sf buildings of Waterfront Corporate Center, the city took the latest step in its dramatic resurgence. Wiley will occupy 400,000 sf on seven floors of the first building. Insignia/ESG represented Wiley in negotiations for the space and is the leasing agent for the rest of Waterfront Corporate Center.

“My wife grew up nearby in Union City,” recalls Wiley chairman William J. Pesce, “and I grew up in Fairview. I used to come to Hoboken on Saturday nights. We’ve been away for years; not far away, but away. But looking around, what I see in terms of what has been accomplished here is just stunning.

“We looked at a number of options in Manhattan, in the suburbs, and even outside the region,” Pesce continued. “But Hoboken has a neighborhood feeling, and it has great diversity. We liked that a lot.” The state provided Wiley with incentives tied to job growth that could be worth $7 million over the next 10 years.

Besides Waterfront Corporate Center, redevelopment of Hoboken’s southern waterfront will include another 400,000 sf of offices, a 300-room hotel, 500 residences, 125,000 sf of retail, parking and more than seven acres of parklands.

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